The 2010 Celebration Ale is 6.8% ABV. The beer pours a dark copper to deep amber in color with a generous head that liberally laces the glass as the beer is consumed. The aroma is hop forward but with a solid malt foundation apparent underneath. This is a well-balanced IPA with a feverishly dry and bitter finish. It is not a super fruity hop forward type of IPA. Like basically all Sierra Nevada offerings, this beer is solid, but it is not spectacular in any aspect. Like the Breckinridge Christmas Ale I reviewed earlier, if you are looking for a "winter warmer" holiday beer, look elsewhere (this is not to say there is any thing wrong with this beer for what it is).
2011 - Still 6.8% ABV the beer pours an orange, dark copper in color with a tall half-inch of off-white head, thick and slightly creamy. There are light rings of lacing. The aroma is spicy, orange, malty. The taste is a malty, creaminess over fruit, also like strong tea with a touch of lemon. The finish is moderately to heavily bitter and very dry.
2012 - The beer maintains its 6.8% ABV. It pours a dark amber and deep copper in color. There is nearly an inch of thick, foamy, nearly creamy off-white head. The aroma is hoppy, grapefruit, citrus and pine over a solid caramel malt base. In the taste the very solid caramel malt base is apparent, covered in grapefruit tang and bitterness, citrus, less pine than the aroma. There is a touch of spiciness. The finish is nearly massive bitterness.
2013 - Maintaining its 6.8% ABV, the beer pours a deep copper and amber in color. There is over an inch of thick, creamy, foamy head, off-white to very light tan in color. The aroma is piney, citrusy, caramel malt, chewy. The taste follows the aromas, strong semi-sweet malt, piney hops, some orange and citrus. The finish is very bitter.
Sierra Nevada rarely makes you lose your
mind, but they are so damn solid. This is very nicely balanced between good,
strong malt and hop flavor, and as always with SN, very drinkable.